Training Core


​The Training Core of the UC San Diego Superfund Program supports the interdisciplinary education of junior scientists to become the next generation of environmental researchers in the Environmental Health Sciences. It is a multidisciplinary program at the crossroads of biology, chemistry and environmental sciences which converge in our Superfund program.  Our faculty members are affiliated with one or more of several graduate training programs: Chemistry & Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, and Neurosciences at UCSD or The Scripps Research Institute graduate program, each of which is independently organized and most are multidisciplinary and multi-departmental. Thus, while the supported graduate students may be based in dramatically different scientific disciplines, they share focused interest in environmental health sciences and participate in educational opportunities through meetings, seminar programs, the Community Engagement Core, the Research Translation Core, teaching opportunities, and required classes focused in molecular toxicology and toxicogenomics, ethics, statistics, and environmental health.

Training students from a variety of graduate programs in interdisciplinary approaches to environmental sciences is novel and unique.  Our program fosters predoctoral training that specifically addresses issues related to environmental health and such programs are critical for the preparation of young investigators to undertake the research so important to improving our environment and providing key information related to toxics in human health. Thus, the interdisciplinary training of Ph.D. graduate students within the extremely rich environment of the UCSD Superfund Program Center, will continue to create a cadre of dedicated, cutting-edge Environmental Health research leaders for the future.


Kauffman, A. S., Thackray, V. G., Ryan, G. E., Tolson, K. P., Glidewell-Kenney, C. A., Semaan, S. J., Poling, M. C., Iwata, N., Breen, K. M., Duleba, A. J., Stener-Victorin, E., Shimasaki, S., Webster, N. J., Mellon, P. L. (2015) A Novel Letrozole Model Recapitulates Both the Reproductive and Metabolic Phenotypes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Female Mice. Biol Reprod. pii: biolreprod.115.131631.

PubMed Central ID: 
Mendoza-Cózatl, D. G., Xie, Q., Akmakjian, G. Z., Jobe, T. O., Patel, A., Stacey, M. G., Song, L., Demoin, D. W., Jurisson, S. S., Stacey, G., Schroeder, J. I. (2014) OPT3 is a component of the iron-signaling network between leaves and roots and misregulation of OPT3 leads to an over-accumulation of cadmium in seeds. Mol Plant. 7(9), 1455-69.
PubMed Central ID: 

Witham, E. A., Meadows, J. D., Hoffmann, H. M., Shojaei, S., Coss, D., Kauffman, A. S., Mellon, P. L. (2013)  Kisspeptin regulates gonadotropin genes via immediate early gene induction in pituitary gonadotropes. Mol. Endocrinol27(8), 1283-94.

PubMed Central ID: 

Witham, E. A., Meadows, J. D., Shojaei, S., Kauffman, A. S., Mellon, P. L. (2012) Prenatal exposure to low levels of androgen accelerates female puberty onset and reproductive senescence in mice. Endocrinology. 153(9), 4522-32.

PubMed Central ID: 

Brayman, M. J., Pepa, P. A., Berdy, S. E., Mellon, P. L. (2012) Androgen receptor repression of GnRH gene transcription. Mol. Endocrinol. 26(1), 2-13.

PubMed Central ID: 

Mendoza-Cozatl, D., Zhai, Z., Jobe, T., G.Z., A., Song, W. Y., Limbo, O., Russell, M., Kozlovskyy, V., Martinoia, E., Vatamaniuk, O. K., Russell, P., Schroeder, J. I. (2010) Tonoplast-localized Abc2 transporter mediates phytochelatin accumulation in vacuoles and confers cadmium tolerance. J Biol Chem. 285, 40416-40426.

PubMed Central ID: 
Comoletti, D., Miller, M. T., Jeffries, C. M., Wilson, J., Demeler, B., Taylor, P., Trewhella, J., Nakagawa, T. (2010) The macromolecular architecture of extracellular domain of alphaNRXN1: domain organization, flexibility, and insights into trans-synaptic disposition. Structure. 18(8), 1044-53. 
PubMed Central ID: 

De Jaco, A., Lin, M. Z., Dubi, N., Comoletti, D., Miller, M. T., Camp, S., Ellisman, M., Butko, M. T., Tsien, R. Y., Taylor, P. (2010) Neuroligin trafficking deficiencies arising from mutations in the alpha/beta-hydrolase fold protein family. J Biol Chem. 285(37), 28674-82.

PubMed Central ID: 

Park, E., Lee, J., Yu, G. Y., He, G., Ali, S., Holzer, R., Osterreicher, C., Takahashi, H., Karin, M. (2010) Dietary and genetic obesity promote liver inflammation and tumorigenesis by enhancing IL-6 and TNF expression. Cell. 140, 197-208. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.12.052.

Nguyen, N., Bonzo, J. A., Chen, S., Chouinard, S., Kelner, M., Hardiman, G., Belanger, A., and Tukey, R. H. (2008) Disruption of the Ugt1 locus in mice resembles human Crigler-Najjar type I disease. J Biol Chem. 283(12):7901-11. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M709244200.

PubMed Central ID: 
 Fabrichny, I. P., Leone, P., Sulzenbacher, G., Comoletti, D., Miller, M. T., Taylor, P., Bourne, Y., Marchot, P. (2007) Structural analysis of the synaptic protein neuroligin and its beta-neurexin complex: determinants for folding and cell adhesion.
Neuron. 56(6), 979-91.

Bonzo, J. A., Belanger, A., and Tukey, R. H. (2007) The role of chrysin and the Ah receptor in induction of the human UGT1A1 gene in vitro and in transgenic UGT1 mice. Hepatology. 45(2):349-60. doi: 10.1002/hep.21481.

Senekeo-Effenberger, K., Chen, S., Yueh, M-F., Erace-Sinnokrak, E., Bonzo, J. A., Argikar, U., Kaeding, J., Trottier, T., Remmel, R. P., Ritter, J. K., Barbier, O., and Tukey, R. H. (2007) Expression of the human UGT1 locus in transgenic mice by 4-chloro-6-(2,3-xylidino)-2-pyrimidinylthioacetic acid (WY-14643) and implications on drug metabolism through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha activation. Drug Met Disp. 35(3):419-27. doi: 10.1124/dmd.106.013243.

Gallagher, E., Enzler, T., Matsuzawa, A., Anzelon-Mills, A., Otero, D., Holzer, R., Janssen, E., Gao, M., Karin, M. (2007) Kinase MEKK1 is required for CD40-dependent activation of the kinases Jnk and p38, germinal center formation, B cell proliferation and antibody production. Nat. Immunol. 8(1), 57-63.

Operaña, T. N., Nguyen, N., Chen, S., Beaton, D. and Tukey, R. H. (2007) Human CYP1A1GFP expression in transgenic mice serves as a biomarker for environmental toxicant exposure. Toxicol Sci. 95(1):98-107. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfl144.

PubMed Central ID: 

Chen, A., Komives, E. A., Schroeder, J. I. (2006) An improved grafting technique for mature Arabidopsis plants demonstrates long-distance shoot-to-root transport of phytochelatins in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology. 141, 108-120. doi: 10.1104/pp.105.072637.

Chen, S., Beaton, D., Nguyen, N., Senekeo-Effenberger, K., Brace-Sinnokrak, E., Argikar, U., Remmel, R. P., Trottier, J., Barbier, O., Ritter, J., Tukey, R. H. (2005) Tissue-specific, inducible, and hormonal control of the human UDP-glucuronosyltranserase-1 (UGT1) locus. J Biol Chem. 280(45):37547-57. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M506683200.

Machemer, D. E. W., and Tukey, R. H. (2005) The role of protein kinase C in regulation of TCDD-mediated CYP1A1 gene expression. Toxicological Sciences. 87, 27-37.

Li, Y., Dhankher, O. P., Carreira, L., Lee, D., Chen, A., Schroeder, J. I., Balish, R. S., Meagher, R. B. (2004) Overexpression of phytochelatin synthase in Arabidopsis leads to enhanced arsenic tolerance and cadmium hypersensitivity. Plant Cell Physiol. 45, 1787-1797. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pch202.

Bonzo, J. A., Chen, S., Galijatovic, A., Tukey, R. H. (2005) Arsenite inihibition of CYP1A1 induction by TCDD is independent of cell cycle arrest. Mol Pharmacol. 67(4):1247-56. doi: 10.1124/mol.104.006130.

Chen, S., Operana, T., Bonzo, J., Nguyen, N., Tukey R. H. (2005) Erk kinase inhibition stabilizes the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. J Biol Chem. 280(6):4350-9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M411554200.

Dooley, C. T., Dore, T. M., Hanson, G. T., Jackson, W. C., Remington, S. J., Tsien, R. Y., (2004) Imaging dynamic redox changes in mammalian cells with green fluorescent protein indicators. J. Biol. Chem. 279(21), 22284-93.

Lee, D. A., Chen, A., Schroeder, J. I. (2003) ars1, an Arabidopsis mutant exhibiting increased tolerance to arsenate and increased phosphate uptake. Plant J. 35(5), 637-46.

Main Contact Information

Core Leader

  • Dr. Pamela L. Mellon

Co-Core Leader

  • Dr. Robert H. Tukey

Pamela L. Mellon, Ph.D., Core Leader
University of California, San Diego
Department of Reproductive Medicine, Mailcode 0674
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0674
P: 858-534-1312 F: 858-534-1438

Robert H. Tukey, Ph.D., Co-Core Leader 
University of California, San Diego
Department of Pharmacology
9500 Gilman Drive, M/C: 0722
La Jolla, CA 92093-0722
P: 858-822-0288 F: 858-822-0363

Resources (Mellon)

UCSD Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

UCSD Department of Reproductive Medicine

UCSD School of Medicine, Department of Neurosciences

Mellon Laboratory

References From PubMed (NCBI)

Resources (Tukey)

UCSD Department of Pharmacology

UCSD Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

References From PubMed (NCBI)

Other UCSD Superfund Projects:

Mouse Genetics Core (Mellon)

Administrative Core (Tukey)

Research Project 4 (Tukey)

Our Current Trainees:

  • Andrew Cooper, Graduate Student, Mentor: Schroeder
  • Alexandra Goetz, Graduate Student, Mentor: Tukey/Wilkinson
  • Genevieve Ryan, Graduate Student, Mentor: Mellon
  • Miles Paszek, Graduate Student, Mentor: Tukey
  • Shanna Newton, Graduate Student, Mentor: Mellon

Our Former Trainees (and Mentor):

  • Akmakjian, Garo - Schroeder
  • Aleman Guillen, Fernando - Schroeder
  • Anderson, Craig - Tebo
  • Bencheikh-Latmani, Rizlan - Tebo
  • Berdy, Sara - Mellon
  • Boisson, Aurelien - Schroeder
  • Bonzo, Jessica - Tukey
  • Brace-Sinnokrak, Erin - Tukey
  • Butko, Emerald - Schroeder
  • Butterfield, Cristina - Tebo
  • Caputo, Nick - Tebo
  • Cavero-Martinez, Santiago - Russell
  • Chen, Alice - Schroeder
  • Chen, Shu-Juan - Tukey
  • Dai, Yang - Evans
  • Dick, Gregory - Tebo
  • Ding, Ning - Evans
  • Dooley, Colette – Tsien/Training
  • Drew, Devin Lee – Karin/Ghosh
  • Ganguly, Abantika - Russell
  • Gong, Jiming - Schroeder
  • Hibbs, Ryan – Taylor
  • Holzer, Ryan - Karin
  • Jobe, Timothy - Schroeder
  • Johnson, Hope - Tebo
  • Jonker, Hans - Evans
  • Kau, Andrew - Schroeder
  • Kim, Ju Youn - Karin
  • Konopnicki-Vincent, Camille - Tukey
  • Lee, David - Schroeder
  • Li, Tao - Evans
  • Li, Zixing - Schroeder
  • Lin, Yi-Chen – Schroeder
  • Liu, Yuanli - Trogler
  • Lu, Benson - Evans
  • Machemer, Daniel - Tukey
  • Martin, Victoria - Russell
  • McCarthy, James - Tebo
  • Mendoza-Cozatl, David - Schroeder
  • Miller, Meghan - Taylor
  • Noh, Yoon Seok - Seki
  • Operaña, Theresa - Tukey
  • Passino, Melissa - Taylor
  • Rodriguez-Gabriel, Miguel - Russell
  • Sanchez, Arancha - Russell
  • Scott, Michael - Trogler
  • Seneko-Effenberger, Kathy - Tukey
  • Shemer, Tamar - Schroeder
  • Sonoda, Jun - Evans
  • Stephan, Aaron Benjamin - Schroeder
  • Sung, Dong Yul - Schroeder
  • Taiming Yong - Schroeder
  • Umemura, Atsushi - Karin
  • Vashisht, Ajay - Russell
  • Waadt, Rainer - Schroeder
  • Waner, David - Schroeder
  • Weems, Jessica - Tukey
  • Whyte, Jamie - Evans
  • Witham, Emily - Mellon
  • Xie, Qingqing - Schroeder
  • Xu, Jun – Brenner
  • Zhao, Xuan - Evans


UCSD Superfund Research Center
University of California, San Diego
Pharmacology Department
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0722
La Jolla, CA 92093-0722